Monthly Archives: October 2020

Finnish – French | 3rd meeting!

3rd Meeting Report – 28th October 2020
This day, Mona and I met at the Brewery Restaurant PLEVNA, a fine place that I was curious about for a long time!

Our course began with little surprises from both of us: Mona prepared a list of “Survival Finnish”, with many different expressions such as “Varo!” (Watch out) or even “Missä vessa on?” (Where is the toilet? This one is really important.)
On my side, I brought a little French dictionary, given to Mona by a friend of ours. I also recently discovered a series of funny short videos about French culture in English called “What the fuck France”, from which we watched the episode about French language. It was the occasion for Mona to discover about “verlan”, a stupid French habit consisting of saying words backward to sound “cool”. It sucks, and I could definitely tell by Mona’s confusion that foreigners think so too!

We went on with the topic we agreed on for the day’s lesson: Time.
Mona taught me how to structure a simple sentence, to state the current time, including how to specify “quarters” and “halves” of hours. It was surprising to learn that Finnish mention the hour coming up, when they state “half before 3” for example, as it’s the other way in French.
Kello on puoli seitseman.” – at the time I’m writing this blogpost.

We also went over the different times of the day in both languages and talked a lot about what differences there are depending on the culture. Like, until what time can we say “Good day” and how to differentiate the same hour depending on if it’s the day or night.
The end of the session was a bit lighter, as we talked about some music video we were both expecting, and that ended our session for the day.
Seeya next Wednesday! 😀

Arabic-German | 5th Meeting

Three weeks ago, on the 7th of October, Ahmed invited me to take part in a board game session with a couple of friends, I have already met at our first meeting in September. The plan was to start playing at one of his friend’s place and, after we had finished the board game, to go to a bar in order to learn typical Arabic and German phrases of ordering drinks and dishes. Unfortunately, the bars and restaurants were closed due to Corona pandemic, which we noticed while we were standing in front of their doors.

However, the first part of our meeting, playing board games, was a lot of fun. Ahmed introduced me in typical Arabic small talk phrases and I replied with the German opposites. For instance, the ice breaker “How do you do?”, which is said in Arabic by Kefak? and in German by Wie geht es dir? or, aiming at one of the most likely small-talk subjects, “The weather is great” what is expressed by El-jaw helo (Arabic) and Das Wetter ist gut (German). All in all, even though we were not able to go to a bar/ restaurant, we exchanged commonly used phrases in our languages, as planned in the beginning of this course. In addition, I really enjoyed meeting Ahmed’s friends and hope to see them in one of our next meetings again.

German – Finnish / The second meeting.

24th October 2020 / 2nd meeting

This time I met Chris at his apartment, and we did a little walk by the lake Näsijärvi and went for a  snack at Pella’s cafe. During the meeting, we were able to get through quite many words and sentences in German and Finnish. We were not only talking a lot but also used a Word document where we wrote the numbers, the weekdays, some colors, and useful sentences. We read them through and discussed the pronunciation of the letters. 

For me, the pronunciation part is tricky as the German language has some sounds that do not exist in Finnish (like the German ’r’) or in any other language I’ve studied before. It was a little mind-blowing to find out there are at least three different ways to pronounce the letter ‘s’ in the German language. There seem to be quite many changes in the pronunciation of the letters with different words, so I’m curious to understand more about that in the future. I’m glad that some words seem to resemble English (for example the days of the week) because that helps me to remember them. 

Chris did an excellent job pronouncing those Finnish words we went through. Luckily it is often said that Finnish is not the hardest language to read or write, as every written letter is always pronounced with the same sound and each sound is written with the same letter. Despite that, long vowels and double consonants can make it a bit difficult as mistaking them can easily turn into misunderstandings, but I will dive more into that next time.😉

On top of the language studies, we talked about some history and traditional events from both of the countries. We also discussed more of our studies, work experiences, and interests in the Interactive Media study field. Later that evening we went to hang out with some of his friends, and all I can say is that it was a really fun and eventful day! I look forward to the next meeting and to learn more! 😀

Finnish – French second meeting

25 October 2020

For the second meeting Néd and I decided to go check out Tallipiha (Stable Yard) in the centre of Tampere. In the past it was a part of the Finlayson factory community and where the factory owner kept his horses. This time around we didn’t see any horses but they did have some fluffy sheep we got to pet!


Well hello there.

Apart from the cute animals Tallipiha has a cozy café and some little shops that offer a wide variety of handmade goods. We took a stroll through the shops and sat down with a coffee to have our second lesson. Each of us had prepared a list of ten useful verbs conjugated in three different tenses. We went through them and agreed a good way to make sure they really sink in would be to have a small test , so our plan is to do that in two weeks. I personally think verbs are usually the thing that can slow you down most while trying to make a sentence in a foreign language because you have to think about who you are talking about and when the action happened (and possibly other things as well, like has the action been finished or is it still ongoing etc). So if you can learn even a few forms of the most used verbs, it can be a giant leap forward in your communication.

However we also realised it could be a good idea to go over some simpler things as well, so we talked about the numbers and the days of the week. I must say numbers are tough for me in any language but oh lord was my French rusty. (But it’s okay, we’re here to learn! And what’s the logic of seventy being sixty-ten (soixante-dix) anyway?) The French pronunciation is also a bit tricky, I feel like I could do it better before but now my tongue doesn’t remember how to make all the sounds! On the other hand Néd has some enviably good pronunciation with Finnish. All in all it was a great lesson and I really appreciate having this opportunity to brush up my French in good company. 🙂 Next week we’ll look at some more numbers since we’ll be talking about how to tell the time, I’m sure it’ll be good practice for both of us!

German – Finnish / The first meeting

Wednesday 7th October 2020 / The first meeting.

Chris and I decided to have our first EOTO-course meeting at a cafe. My sister came too as she wanted from the beginning to occasionally join the studying. First, we introduced ourselves and talked about some basic background information to get to know each other. Chris is an exchange student from Germany who quite recently arrived here in Tampere, so it was interesting to hear his first impressions about Finland and this city. He had already picked up some common words in Finnish but had not studied the language. My level in German was the same as I have visited Germany once and got some friends from there but never studied the language before. 

We started from the basics and went through some greetings and other common words and phrases. Even though Finnish and German are very different  we found some similarities between them – for example, the use of alphabets is more similar than I expected as in German they also use the letters ö and ä. Also in both languages people like making ridiculously long words by combining them together. Besides studying the language there was some discussion about Finnish and German culture and the stereotypes too. The meeting went quickly and was really nice! I look forward to getting to know each other better and learning more German in the future. 😀

Finnish – French | 2nd meeting!

2nd Meeting Report – 25th October 2020

We met with Mona on the 25th of October, in Tallipiha, an old Stable Yard counting many little shops and a café. We visited the place, pet some sheep, appreciated the handmade crafted items in the shops, before sitting around a cup of coffee in the coffee shop.

Beforehand, we agreed to come with a list of 10 most common verbs, and their variations in 3 different tenses/forms. I made a PDF listing verbs conjugated in Present, Future & Simple Past, although Mona mentioned that she used to learn the Composed Past tense. It made sense to me, as it’s also the past tense we use the most in spoken French. I decided to correct the PDF and send her a new version. On her side, Mona wrote down 10 verbs in Present, Past and Negative forms, as I quote her: “Finnish has no future.” *gulp*
We spent some time on understanding the different verb forms, then agreed to have a little “test” in 2 weeks, to motivate us to learn them!

Afterward, we decided to go over basic stuff, such as weekdays and numbers. Mona already knew many of our French weekdays, and I knew my share of Finnish numbers. We ended up giving each other tips on the pronunciation and grammar of those.

Again, these 2 hours flew by and I learned so much from Mona. On to the next meeting! 😊

Finnish – Vietnamese, part I: I’m so excited

We met with Suong via Teams on Monday October 12th and we talked for four hours. First we talked mostly Finnish and then I got first glimpse of Vietnamese. It was more exciting than I could imagine. First challenge I found is that we spend all the available time when we meet and there’s no time left to write about it.

On Monday October 19th again via Teams we had second session. We had only 30 minutes and I managed to teach one funny word and its use in spoken language. Then I thought, was it really that necessary.

Then was my turn to learn more Vietnamese on Tuesday October 20th. I stumbled my way to introduce myself but there are so many different words to include in a sentence that I no longer knew which way is up. It’s been interesting but nonetheless I can’t wait to get rid of the virtual environment. I’m clumsy with computers.

Italian-Vietnamese Fourth meeting: Food, food and food!!!

Hello-Ciao-Xin chào!!! It was our fourth meeting and the session was full of food, that makes me hungry all the way. Right in the beginning of the meeting, Duy did very well at introducing the most typical and best specilities in Vietname such as: pho, banh trung thu (mid-autumn cake), nem… I was impressed by the way he delivered all the most basic but mostly adequate information about the dishes to Sara; furthermore, he also helped her to distinguish the fake and the real version of distict dishes, he did it very clear, and I admired him at this point. Then we also showed Sara two special food which rarely foreigners can “deal with” are “trung vit lon” and “sau rieng” (durian) and we hope that she can try the two in the near future.

About the Italian food, Sara showed us a huge varieties of her country’s specilities: from the most general like pasta, pizza, lasagna, risotto (including many different types) to the more region-specific ones such as rosotto allo zafferano, pasta al pesto, polenta (in the North) and parmigiana di melanzane, cannoli (in the South). The common thing in Italian dishes is that they are mostly fat in nutrition and provide a large amount of protein and energy (I think it is not suitable to try these before going to bed!!)

We have planned for one cultural exchange day to cook our food and discuss more about our cultures and languages when Duy and me can arrive in Finland. We all hope that day will come soon!

Italiano-Vietnamese third meeting: Welcome our new member, Duy Ha!!!

It’s so surprised when we welcomed a new member to our group, he is my fellow from Vietnam and he is from the North (I’m from the South). It’s good for all of us, Vietnamese people from different regions still have typical differences, and not only Sara I can learn from Duy many other things I has not experienced yet.

Via our meeting, it was an open greetings, as it is definitely “the more the merrier”, we got to know more about each other. Firstly, Sara taught me about the verb tenses (with the “TO BE=essere” and “TO HAVE=avere”) and also a little revision the personal pronouns from the last session; the lesson becomes harder and harder when I learnt how to combine the words in order to express the sentence in the correctly in certain contexts. Italian grammar is getting more complicated at this point and much more efforts must be put into practice if I want to comprehend all of this. On the contrary, verb tenses and plural form in Vietnamese is really simple, it only took us about 15 minutes and there was no challenges for Sara to get through with this part.

Also, after that Duy and me introduced Sara traditional holidays and typical occasions in Vietnam. While Duy were “making his presentation” by speech to Sara, I tried to share the relative images and information from internet on Zoom’s sharing screen space. We thought we all did well at this session (lol).

There is still many interesting things to disscuss in the next meetings (both academic and cultural) and we’re all looking forward to the coming weeks!

Polish-German 2nd Meeting

After my two weeks of quarantine Fryderyk and I were actually able to meet in person for the first time and we decided to meet in Kauppi at the lakefront. For our second lesson we started with repeating the basics we already learned at our Skype-meeting 2 weeks ago (Cześć! or Dzień dobry!) and then named the things around us (e.g. Lake = Jezioro). For me, the pronunciation was really hard, as the Polish language has some sounds that do not exist in German. In addition to that, remembering the words was not easy at all. Unfortunately, we did not write the words down immediately, which made remembering even harder, but afterwards we started a list with vocabularies, which we can expand during the next meetings.

Additionally, we discussed how to differentiate between a question and a normal sentence and talked about our cultural background.

Overall, I think we are on a good way to develop our language skills.